The Colorado State University Board of Governors today unanimously voted to name the newly completed Chemistry/Biosciences Hall in honor of Albert C. Yates, who announced he will step down as president in June after 13 years as leader of the university.
"During Al Yates’ tenure, Colorado State University has undergone an amazing transformation and can now be truly considered among the nation’s best public universities. I can’t think of a more appropriate honor than to name a facility for him that will help continue academic and research excellence at the university," said Reginald Washington, president of the Board of Governors. "Al Yates’ academic discipline is theoretical chemical physics, and it seems very appropriate that this building be named Albert C. Yates Hall in recognition of his many outstanding contributions to the university, higher education and to the state of Colorado."
Yates’ retirement signals the end of one of the longest presidential tenures in Colorado State University history. Only two other presidents have led the university for longer periods: Charles A. Lory (1909-1940) and William B. Morgan (1949-1969). The university’s student center bears Lory’s name, while the library is named in honor of Morgan.
Following are some of the highlights of Al Yates’ tenure at Colorado State’s helm:
- Student enrollment increased 18.95 percent between fall 1990 and fall 2002 – from 20,795 students to 24,735;
- Enrollment of ethnically diverse students grew by 57 percent since fall 1990 and is now 11.32 percent of the total student population.
- The average student admissions index – a combination of standardized test scores and high-school grade-point average – increased from 105 in 1990 to 110 in fall 2002;
- External research funding increased by 82 percent since 1990, climbing from $100,095,237 in 1990-91 to $183,013,110 in 2001-02;
- Total invested assets at the Colorado State University Foundation climbed 202.6 percent during Yates’ tenure – from $41.9 million in 1990-91 to $126,800,000 in 2001-02;
- Annual private giving has more than quadrupled over the past 12 years, reaching $37 million in the 2001 fiscal year;
- Since 1990, Colorado State experienced the largest growth of in-state resident student enrollment of any school in Colorado – allowing CSU to proclaim itself the "institution of choice for Colorado residents";
- The university has made significant strides in enhancing the overall quality of undergraduate education, including revamping the core curriculum, creation of required first-year seminars for all students, appointment of University Distinguished Teaching Scholars, enhanced investment in the Honors Program and much more;
- The university gained in national stature and reputation, moving firmly into the top ranks of the nation’s public research universities and identifying Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence within the institution;
- The university achieved unprecedented success in women’s and men’s athletics – and Yates led the university’s move out of the Western Athletic Conference into the newly created Mountain West Conference;
- Yates led the development of a strategic planning and budgeting process at the university, based in part on the notion that, given limited state funding, Colorado State’s greatest source of new funds would be to seek new uses of existing funds. Operating under this philosophy, the university centrally reallocated more than $20 million in base funds toward its highest institutional priorities. This funding went to support such priority areas as undergraduate academic programs, graduate programs, faculty salaries and compensation, and the university libraries. In addition, individual units and programs of the university reallocated more than $18 million more – in just the past six years – to address institutional needs including enrollment growth, quality improvements, inflation and more.
Yates will stay on as chancellor of the Colorado State University system for up to a year at the request of the board.
The university will hold a special reception and building dedication ceremony as part of its annual Celebrate Colorado State festivities in April. The Chemistry/Biosciences Hall, completed last October, is a five-story, 78,000-square-foot structure with the latest in technology and safety equipment. The facility includes 26 student laboratories and connected lecture rooms for undergraduate lab courses in chemistry, biology, biochemistry and the university’s recently expanded life sciences core curriculum. The building also accommodates chemical engineering and biomedical sciences (pre-med) courses.
Built to improve instruction, incorporate advances in information technology, address safety issues and meet increased demand for science courses, the building was designed in large part by faculty to meet the needs of undergraduates.